Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, March 11, 2011

Initial reports indicate U-M students in Japan are safe

The university has identified 19 students and two faculty members who are currently in Japan, and all are reported to be safe.


Message to U-M students from Japan:

If you have been affected by the tsunami in any way and need assistance from the university, please contact the International Center at or 734-764-9310.

You may also contact the Dean of Students Office by calling 734-764-7420 or writing to Although we may not be able to meet every need, we will do our best to be of assistance.

We would also like to remind you that Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available to help you find support during this stressful time. You can call them at 734-764-8312 or stop by the CAPS office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

None of the 21 U-M affiliates is near the area of northeastern Japan where the impact of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami is the most severe. The U-M students generally are located south and west of the disaster area.

Among the group of 21 are nine undergraduate and nine graduate students from the Ann Arbor campus, one graduate student from the Dearborn campus and two faculty members from the Ann Arbor campus.

John Godfrey, assistant dean for international education in the Rackham School of Graduate Studies, said university officials would continue to reach out to any additional graduate students, faculty or staff who may be in Japan.

In an e-mail message today to the approximately 100 students from Japan on the Ann Arbor campus, John E. Greisberger, director of the university’s International Center, offered his sympathy and his assistance.


Editors and reporters:
Click here for experts available to discuss the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

“We are contacting students from Japan to express our sympathy and concern for you, your family and friends due to the tsunami that hit your country yesterday afternoon.

“If you have been affected by the tsunami in any way and need assistance from the university, please contact the International Center.”

A tsunami smashes vehicles and houses in Kesennuma, Japan following a massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake shook Japan on Friday. (Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images)  

Godfrey also emphasized how important the International Travel Registry has become in emergency situations like this.

The university requires all students participating in university-sponsored international programs to register, providing their location of study and emergency contact information. All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to use the registry.

“The registry information was essential when we needed to evacuate students and staff from Egypt less than two months ago,” Godfrey said.